With only a week left on this crazy journey, it's amazing to look back and think of all the places that we've been too. While the YMCA and the Faculty House definitely felt our presence, we officially left our Luther footprint on the walls of the Check Inn as we checked out. #gonorse. On the 21st we departed from home base in Hong Kong and headed to the great Portuguese infused city of Macau. Taking a new form of transportation, a TurboJet Catamaran, it was a scenic, island-filled ride for those who stayed awake. Once we docked, all we could see were the streets of flashing neon lights welcoming us to the Macau. The gamblers jumped for joy after arriving in a city whose economy is built around their casinos. The gamblers were ready to get high stakes, meaning next semester's tuition money, sorry parents! The city's revenue from gambling is seven times as much as that of Las Vegas.
Unlike in Hong Kong, where the subway system and walking was the group's best bet for traveling around the city, the Portuguese designed the city of Macau in a way that requires the group to travel by taxi over longer distances. Every ride was an experience, weaving in and out of the traffic as motorcycle drivers cruise past the half open taxi windows with freshly made almond cookies filling the air. (Which we later got PLENTY of free samples of from the local bakeries.)
A good portion of our day was spent at the iconic St. Paul ruins, admiring the only remains of the first Church and College of the Jesuits in China built in the early 17th century. Being more of a touristy area, it was a great location for us to practice photographing for our portraiture assignment. After classroom discussions regarding the ethics and purpose behind street photography, we all felt a bit more knowledgeable on how to ask for a photograph. While the subject may not always be the stand out in a crowd, it's the story behind the photo we want to hear. We found that the biggest challenge--besides lack of courage--was the language barrier. However, a smile goes a long way!
After the first full day in the bustling gambling city of Macau, we watched the sunset on the top of a fort one block up from our hotel: the Pousada de Mong-Há, a cozy hotel run by hospitality students on a hill overlooking the city. Night photography can be pretty tricky, but tripods and ledges were a huge help in stabilizing the camera. After just one day in the great city of Macau we are preparing to head back to Hong Kong on an early morning ferry. When we arrive back in Hong Kong we will begin to finalize our portfolios for our final class photo exhibit.
That's all for Macau! Next and final stop: Hong Kong
Lars & Kate